Tamil Nadu bus strike: Nobody missed the bus in Vellore
07 January, 2018, 01:13 | Author: Nina Hammond
Taking a serious view of the strike called by certain transport unions, the Madras High Court on Friday said the workers should get back to work or "face consequences", including termination and contempt of court.
Hours later, state Transport Minister MR Vijayabaskar issued the ultimatum to the employees to resume work or face action and reiterated that the present wage agreement was "unprecedented" in many aspects.
While the unions were demanding an increase in wages by 2.57 times, the government reportedly wanted to settle down their demands by raising it to 2.41 times.
Ex-transport min Senthil Balaji extended his support to the strike The DMK, Left parties and other opposition leaders as well as actor Kamal Haasan urged the government to bring the strike to an end by holding talks with trade unions.
'Those who don't come to work and cause hardship to the public must face the consequences, ' the court told the drivers.
After the wage-related talks with the government failed 10 unions had announced the strike. Chief Justice Indira Banerjee had said that workers could not go on such sudden strikes without any prior intimation. "We are yet to receive a copy of the high court order".
Reading out a statement before reporters, he said the government had proposed a "very good" wage revision agreement despite financial issues faced by the transport corporations.
Following the strike, commuters alleged over-charging by autos and private buses even as scores opted for suburban rail services in Chennai. The government is using ruling party members (drivers) to run the buses.
Meanwhile, the Southern Railway, in an official release, said, "It is chose to operate weekday services instead of weekend reduced services in Chennai Beach-Tambaram and MRTS suburban sector to accommodate extra rush in view of the strike".
Tamilnadu has a fleet of 22,500 buses, with 1.4 lakh workers in the State's employment.
The strike, following the failure of talks on wage revision and clearance of pending dues with Transport Minister M.R. Vijayabhaskar, was declared on Thursday.
A large number of people were seen queued up waiting for the private buses at the different bus stops.
Private bus operators were also finding it hard as they were not aware of the routes and where to stop.
Chennai: The strike by transport workers which began last evening, continued for the second day leaving many commuters including office-goers and students stranded in the city and other parts of Tamilnadu.
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